Download the Paper
Monday, February 4, 2013
May I Borrow A Cup of Wi-Fi?
When was the last time a guest in your home asked if he or she could “borrow” your home network to connect his or her smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other new mobile device to the Internet? Most likely: today.
U.S. consumers carry an average of 2.6 mobile devices, according to recent research by the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). Not only do they expect their devices to connect to the Internet—they also expect their friends and neighbors to have home Wi-Fi, just as they have electricity and running water.The value of “community Wi-Fi” is being recognized by a number of organizations. One is Fon, who has created a shared open-source network of more than 7 million hotspots around the world that community members can use for free. Another is BT, who has incorporated the Fon application and model into its home broadband service. This approach enables BT to provide broadband customers free access to the global Fon network, while expanding its U.K. hotspot network to more than 4 million sites—so, now friends and family members who are also BT customers can seamlessly authenticate and join the host’s home network.
To learn more about the value of community Wi-Fi and the business benefits to SPs, Cisco IBSG conducted a survey of 1,060 Canadian mobile users to understand their needs and behaviors, their current and future mobile usage, and the average profile of community Wi-Fi users. The study revealed that approximately 40 percent of mobile device owners are “community” users. Compared with other mobile users, community users are technically advanced, own more sophisticated devices, and use these devices up to twice as often as do average mobile users. The community segment is also significant to SPs: this group is younger, wealthier, and willing to spend more money on mobile services.These and other research findings from the survey can help SPs understand the size of the opportunity, develop strategies for success, acquire new customers and retain existing ones, and differentiate their community Wi-Fi offerings and initiatives from those of their competitors, extracting a premium for their service.
Download the Paper